Can you have Lyme with negative blood tests?

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I've had a variety of symptoms for many months - fatigue, joint pain, palpitations, flu-like aches, headache, foggy thinking, sore throat - to name just some of them. I didn't have the rash, but do regularly walk in a known tick area (with deer etc). I'm in the UK and had the ELISA test which came back negative, and am awaiting a Western Blot test. I'm just thinking ahead and preparing myself in case this id also negative - has anyone had any experience if having two negative blood testsbut still have Lymes? Or maybe i need to be considering other possibilities such as Fibro or Chronic Fatigue.

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4 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi there,

    also in the UK. Yes definitely. I remember reading up about why this is, when I first fell ill. I think the bacteria invade/corrupt the cells and inhibit the response the test is looking for. I'm sure others could put it better, and more scientifically.

    I have never tested positive for Lyme, despite presenting with the classic bulls eye rash. I believe NICE guidelines have now been updated to recommend treatment based on a bulls eye alone (without a positive test). I appreciate that the rash may not be relevant in your case, but just mentioned it to highlight the issues with testing.

    Good luck


    • Posted

      Thanks for replying Elisabeth, its much appreciated. It's interesting to hear that you also tested negative despite all the symptoms, including having the rash. I've been consulting the NICE guidelines which is how i managed to persuade my GP to order the blot test (as they note that should be carried out after 12+ weeks if symptoms regardless of ELISA result).

      May I ask how you are now? Were you able to get antibiotics and treatment to help you recover?

    • Posted

      No problem. How I am now is a bit of a tricky one. I did have a few courses of doxycycline which seemed to help initially. But like for many, these weren't effective long term. I actually found antimicrobial herbs to be a lot more helpful, as these can be taken long term and aren't damaging. I can't link to anything, as it's against forum rules and my comment will be deleted. But there are great resources out there about natural treatment. I really would have counted myself sceptical about herbs, but they made a big, and almost immediate difference (and I can now work full time where I was once bed bound). I do still have bad days though, and I don't think I'll ever be completely free of it. Time seems to be quite important in terms of treatment - the sooner, the better.

      I really wish you well. Sounds like you did well to convince your GP. Good practice for any consultants you may encounter (I found that about 3 out of 4 were dismissive, despite the bulls eye rash). I think the issue is it's relatively new/emerging and I hope that support will improve in the future.

  • Posted

    I had negative bloods on Lyme. However 4 co infections were found one of which was Anaplasma phag which has similar symptoms to Lyme.

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